Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive bemoans agents 'stealing' players

Ante Jukic
Stats Perform
23/06/202210:28
Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin
Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin

Shakhtar Donetsk chief exectuive Sergei Palkin has accused football agents of exploiting the war in Ukraine to negotiate the transfers of foreign players, amid FIFA's extension of concessions for foreign players registered in the country.

Earlier this week, FIFA extended temporary regulations which allowed foreign players in Ukraine to play elsewhere. Shakhtar are a special case even within this context, with the club unable to play at their home of the Donbass Arena since 2014.

The Ukrainian domestic league was suspended in February, with a restart in August mooted.

Shakhtar's Marlos, Dentinho and Junior Moraes returned to Brazil in loan deals and Tete secured a loan move to Olympique Lyon,while Dynamo Kyiv's Vitinho and Carlos de Pena also left for Brazil upon the outbreak of armed conflict.

According to the Shakhtar chief executive, some agents have pre-empted FIFA's ruling by advising clubs to divert potential transfer fees for clubs to higher commission fees for agents.

"Some agents are destroying us. They are trying to steal players," Palkin told The Athletic. "They play games, contacting clubs, saying don’t pay us [Shakhtar] and deals are being broken. You cannot imagine what is going on.

"The power to decide on suspension of the contracts is now in the hands of players' agents. It doesn't reflect the club's intention to save players and investments."

Meanwhile, the only exception is if a mutual agreement is found between clubs and foreign employees by June 30, effectively compromising the bargaining position of Ukrainian clubs.

In one example, talented Shakhtar midfielder Marcos Antonio completed a medical for Lazio this week, with the Italian club set to sign him for a reduced price.

While FIFA's ruling confirms the argument of player welfare supersedes the financial security of clubs, Palkin believes it has only given added leverage to agents that already have a significant amount.

"We now basically have nine days to agree with our players their sale or loan to foreign clubs, which is just impossible," he added.

"FIFA has not helped Ukrainian clubs by issuing regulations. On the contrary, it significantly worsened our negotiations with players and made agents even more powerful and richer."

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Shakhtar Donetsk
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